Rep. Steve Scalise in Critical Condition, Shot by Gunman Targeting Republicans
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Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., remains in critical condition at MedStar Washington Hospital Center after being shot around 7:15 a.m. Wednesday morning when a gunman fired dozens of shots at Republican members of Congress who were gathered to practice baseball before tomorrow's congressional baseball game.
A statement from the hospital said Scalise was shot in the hip and the bullet "travelled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding." He underwent emergency surgery but his condition will require additional opperations. Several other people were also wounded, including several police officers.
Rep. Steve Scalise
Vice President Mike Pence spoke with two members of the U.S. Capitol Police who were injured during the attack, as well as the father of lobbyist Matt Mika, who was shot multiple times.
The White House said shortly after the shooting that President Donald Trump had spoken with House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, injured Rep. Steve Scalise's wife and chief of staff, and the chief of the Capitol Police.
The shooter has been revealed as a campaign volunteer for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Sanders has condemned the shooting.
"I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be: Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms," Sanders said.
The gunman, identified as James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Illinois, was neutralized after Scalise's security detail engaged the shooter in a hail of gunfire. President Trump says the shooter has since died from his injuries.
Hodgkinson had run a home-inspection business. He wrote numerous letters to his hometown newspaper over the years, the Belleville News-Democrat. In October 2011, he applauded the Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York and Boston. He also wrote that his favorite TV show was Rachel Maddow's MSNBC program.
The shooting happened at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, at an early morning practice where more than 20 Republican congressmen were gathered to prepare for the upcoming congressional baseball game.
"I only saw him for a second or two, long enough to recognize that if I can see him, he can see me," recalled Congressman Mo Brooks, R-Ala. "I saw the gunman come around the back stop and he had a clear line of fire into the dugout."
A CBN News team, including Reporter Ben Kennedy, DC Bureau Chief Dana Ritter, and Producer Amber Strong, has been on the scene all morning gathering information. Follow their Twitter accounts and our CBN News Facebook page for ongoing updates from the field.
Scalise had a security detail with him because he serves as the current U.S. House of Representatives Majority Whip, one of the most powerful positions in Congress.
Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., says he never thought he'd go to a baseball practice and "have to dodge bullets."
Davis says if U.S. Capitol Police officers had not been on the scene, it "would have been a massacre."
“The officers acted heroically today and they are in good condition,” said Chief Matthew Verderosa of the Capitol Police Department.
The White House issued a statement this morning saying: "The Vice President and I are aware of the shooting incident in Virginia and are monitoring developments closely. We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of Congress, their staffs, Capitol Police, first responders, and all others affected."
Karen & I are praying for @SteveScalise, the Capitol Police, & all hurt for a speedy recovery. Our hearts are with them & their loved ones.— Vice President Pence (@VP) June 14, 2017
This photo of Democratic congressmen praying on a separate baseball field is making the rounds on Twitter.
Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks was at the Republican baseball practice where the shooting happened, and he tweeted this:
Praying for those injured at this morning's practice. I'm especially thankful to the US Capitol Police who risked their lived to protect us.— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) June 14, 2017
Sen. James Lankford offered this prayer on the floor on the U.S. Senate.
Meanwhile, Arkansas-based Tyson Foods Inc. says one of its employees was among those shot at the baseball practice Wednesday. Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson identified the wounded employee as Matt Mika.
He says Mika is director of government relations for Tyson's Washington, D.C., office.
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